So another year has come and will shortly pass away into memory. What sort of year has it been in Smitty's World? Let's recap, shall we?
In January, we talked about an exciting upcoming deployment, to Basra, in Iraq. That did not pan out, and though I was a bit disappointed at the time I'm glad it didn't. I had hoped, in January, that if the deployment went off I'd be home in early June and would be out of the service very shortly thereafter. See what that gets you...
Also in January, we discussed the need to buy Danish, the rudeness of modern technology, and we were first introduced to Taylor Hicks for the first time on American Idol.
In February, I had a great bottle of wine, which was occasioned by my acceptance to UVA Law. I had hoped to be enrolled there in classes now. That was also the day that Tampa got something like 11 inches of rain. Back in them days I was planning a fun August trip to Nebraska for a friend's wedding and the Nebraska Hedonism Tour, but that never panned out. I'm still looking for an excuse to take the tour. I went back to Valdosta, where I did pilot training, and was disappointed at the results. I did some soul searching, already apparently wondering whether law school was the right thing or not, but didn't come to any great conclusions. Dick Cheney gave in to bloodlust, we had the Olympics, saw a picture of the future, and talked about the major league sports market. Sort of a schizophrenic month.
March saw me off to the Everglades for a wonderful vacation. March also marked the famous polemics about trees, wherein I attempted to provide a list of 100 native Florida trees you can plant instead of oaks (to which I am, particularly in March, allergic). Then I went off on the Chinese Stinking Pear (also called the "Bradford Pear") and provided photos of twelve attractive native flowering plants that are better. I also got to fly again, for the first time in a year, and it was pure bliss. Although I spent part of the month laid out with back pain, March was a good month.
April provided the first inkling of an opportunity to go to Djibouti, to deploy again for the first time in a year and feel like I was actually contributing to the war effort, misguided though it may be. I went off to a wedding, attempted but did not make a solo flight to Atlanta, and managed to finish the worst book I read all year, I am Charlotte Simmons. I also turned… um… an age. Yes.
May was a wonderful glorious month, for in May I met Smittygirl. I also spent a week at the cabin in North Carolina, did tons of writing, went on some cool hikes with Lucky Bob and Rambling, and went to a friend's wedding. I had a great time at a rave, and finished the best book I read all year, Straight Man--although that's not quite fair, since I'd read it once before.
June was apparently very dull. I'm sure there were some interesting politics-related posts or something, but as you can see, I had nothing to say in June.
July was a fine month. Although it started well, with guests in town for the Fourth and such, the middle part was lousy, with my departure for Djibouti. But it finished great when, on the 29th, I finally finished Lauderdale.
August is a complete wash. I can't remember it. I lived in a tent. I worked out some. I reviewed, but had long since finished reading, A Walk in the Woods, the best non-fiction book of the year. I went out into the countryside of Djibouti to see some cheetahs. That's about it. August was a wash.
September… hmm, yes, September. Yes, well. I moved into a CLU out there in Djibouti, but that post is not on the blog at present. It was a happy day, but frankly, I don't think well of much of Djibouti anymore. The only significant thing to happen that month was that I made the decision to attend Burning Man in 2007. I hope this works out but I'm not sure. I am buying tickets though, on the 17th, so if you think you might perhaps possibly consider thinking about maybe going, let me know and I'll get one for you. You can sell the things on eBay or Craig's List so it's not a big if you get a ticket and then can't go.
October is usually such a wonderful month. It is. Usually. I don't even want to talk about it. I did read the best fiction book of the year that I had not read before. That was something. It was a rough month, though, precipitating as it did the removal of almost half the posts on this blog, and several other things best left in the ground. I had to say goodbye to Cinders in October, as it became apparent he would not be around when I returned. Probably the hardest thing I did all year.
November was a substantial improvement over October. We had an election, which was pretty cool. I finally solved the monthslong dilemma of Conocarpus lancifolius. I began work on (but in no way completed) a quirky novel about superheroes or something. And I went on a wonderful safari with some terrific people. Had a great time. Almost made the whole deployment worth it. Almost.
In December, bless the Lord, I came home. Smittygirl was waiting for me at the airport. It was wonderful. I paid off my car, celebrated a wedding and a reunion at the same time, celebrated Christmas, and now here I am, on the 1st, recapping what was ultimately a rather crappy year.
I dated this post for 2359 last night, although I didn't write it then. Duh! I was watching fireworks and stuff. But it seemed like a post that should be in 2006.
So what would I say about the year that's passed? Well. I don't wish to be negative. I did meet Smittygirl, after all. I said goodbye to a good friend, too. I read some good books and some lousy ones, wrote a mediocre one, went on some great trips, worked an incredibly pointless job in a dirty, unpleasant country, made some decent money, and paid off my car (it's really exciting!). We crowned an interesting new American Idol, saw some great displays of athleticism at the Olympics, and had an interesting election. We lost some good people, and some bad ones. On balance it wasn't the worst year I've ever passed.
Hmm. You know, if it wasn't, I don't know which one was. Here's to 2006. May it rest in pieces.